MICA's major in photography exposes students to the full range of photography as a fine art -utilizing state of the art, digital imaging technology, exploring the nuance of black and white and digital printing, experimenting with non-traditional processes and mastering studio lighting and the large format camera. A wide variety of courses broadens students' aesthetic understanding and technical skills, preparing them for careers in photography.
A series of core courses emphasize the basic processes of photography and the medium's aesthetic development. Classes in color, digital and black and white photography, provide students with a broad foundation of essential knowledge and encourage the mastery of skills and develop in depth students' own ideas.
In addition to four open studio electives from any discipline, majors are required to take seven photography electives. These regularly scheduled classes - which include Advanced Digital, Narrative Strategies, Large Format, and Alternative Processes - all deal with both the technical and conceptual aspects of photography. Students work with their advisors to plan a program of electives that best meets their needs and goals.
A sequence of upper-division courses guides students to build skills and explore the wide range of possibilities in photography. The required seminar, Contemporary Directions in Photography, investigates the production of photo-based media during the last 50 years, and an internship in a photography-related area is required for all majors. Recent internships have provided students with real-world experience in the full array of careers available in the field, including work in the studios of professional photographers, museums, newspapers, magazines, galleries, and medical institutions.
In Junior Seminar, students research and pursue a personal body of photographic work. This course prepares the student for the two semester Senior Thesis. Professional practice and development is emphasized in both courses. In thesis, students write a proposal that forms the basis for a sustained body of work. The culmination of the senior year is a college-wide exhibition of work by the graduating students.
Each spring, seniors compete for the Meyer Photography Traveling Scholarship. This award gives a senior photography major the opportunity to travel in the United States or abroad for a photographic project. A number of scholarship opportunities are in place for photography majors including an award for a rising junior made possible through a generous gift from the Leonard Greif family.
The facilities in the photography department provide a professional work space, state of the art digital lab, a professional studio and lighting systems, as well as fully equipped black and white and color darkrooms. The department's courses and facilities also serve students in other majors who have met course prerequisites. Non-majors who take 15 credits of studio photography courses can declare a photography concentration. A studio concentration of particular interest to photography majors is the concentration in book arts.